Catalpa bignonioides (Indian bean tree) is native to southeastern parts of the United States – the 'Indian' part of its name relates to the botanical name Catalpa, after the native American (Red Indian) tribe, Catawba.
Catalpa bignonioides grows into a large, domed tree up to 12m in height, though it typically reaches 6-8m over 50 years in Britain. Highly ornamental, it's grown in the UK for its large, heart-shaped leaves, masses of white, horse chestnut-like flowers and long (up to 45cm) runner bean-like pods.
Grow Catalpa bignonioides in a sheltered spot in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. It's perfect for growing as a focal point in a lawn or at the back of a mixed border, and it makes an excellent summer shade tree.
Advice on buying Catalpa bignonioides
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- Catalpa bignonioides may be available from your locak garden centre, but you'll find a wider range online or from specialist nurseries
- Always check plants for signs of damage or disease before planting
Where to buy Catalpa bignonioides